July 2010 Vol. 2 Issue 7

Healthcare Perspectives

Naturopathic Residency Program Advances Integrative Training

by Matt Plavnick As STAIR residents become familiar with the nuts and bolts of running a naturopathic clinic, their involvement also closes the divide between naturopathic and conventional medicine. Brown points out that the STAIR Program "builds a bridge between naturopathic and conventional medicine that creates opportunities for enhancing patient-centered healthcare."

Abstracts & Commentary

Pistachios Improve Lipid Profiles: The Growing Case for Eating Nuts

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  After a 2-week baseline Western Diet, participants ate one of 3 diets, all providing similar caloric intake for 4 weeks. The control diet contained no pistachios and was lower fat (25% total fat). The two other diets contained either 1 or 2 servings of pistachios each day. A serving consisted of 32 to 63 grams of nuts.The quantity of LDL found in the blood is a long-established marker for cardiovascular disease risk. More recently, the amount of oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL) has gained recognition as a contributing factor for the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. High levels of Ox-LDL are associated with greater risk of metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and acute coronary syndrome. Lowering Ox-LDL, as this study tells us pistachios will do, is an important goal for disease prevention. Prior studies have already established that eating pistachios improves standard lipid profiles.

Chocolate Eclairs Treat Prostate Cancer?

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO 

Fish Oil Reduces Chronic Pain in Case Studies

by Steve Austin, ND  This is the first published report examining the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on neuropathic pain. A variety of potential mechanisms explaining how EPA and DHA might reduce such pain have been suggested (eg, the blocking of voltage-gated sodium channels) but to date these mechanistic explanations remain hypothetical.

Cherry Juice Eases Pain of Running Race Participants

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  This is only the latest in a series of studies on cherry juice and muscle recovery after exertion that have suggested similar benefits. Taken together these studies affirm the growing perception that cherry juice is a useful aid in preventing pain and inflammation, although these studies focus on a particular form of injury (ie, exercise-induced muscle injury and pain). Cherry juice may serve in many situations as an adequate substitute or replacement for either aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) but without the side effects or health risks associated with these medications.

Early Pregnancy Folate Status and Childhood Hyperactivity

by Matthew Baral, ND  This study is the first to show an association between folate status of the mothers and behavioral outcomes in their children. In addition, they also found that decreased head-growth velocity was also associated with lower folate levels during pregnancy. It should be noted that head growth is a rough indicator of brain growth. However, there was an association here, indicating that in utero folate status does affect neurodevelopment, and decreased fetal brain growth is one of the results. It is well known that inadequate prenatal folate intake will affect other aspects of nervous system development, evidenced by its relationship to spina bifida and other spinal dysraphisms. This study also provides information as to when folate status may be more important.


Exploring the Association Between Sleep Loss and Illness with Sleep Research Expert Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

by Natural Medicine Journal Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, is Chief of the Department of Behavioral Biology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). He is also a Diplomat, American Board of Sleep Medicine; a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine; and a member of the Sleep Research Society and the European Sleep Research Society. Dr. Balkin obtained his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Bowling Green State University.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Marinades Reduce Heterocyclic Amines from Primitive Food Preparation Techniques

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  It is certainly possible, as these papers suggest, to significantly lower the formation of carcinogens during cooking, even while barbecuing. Incorporating specific ingredients into meat through mixing, marinades, or rubs provides accessible means to inhibit formation of HCAs.